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Gergen Family History in Alsweiler, Germany, New York and in Kansas: 1700s-2002s

Gergen Family History

in Alsweiler, Germany, in Steuben County, New York and in Montgomery County, Kansas

Click on the Pictures to Englarge Them
Welcome. This is a family history web page for the Gergen family. It is our hope that in time, the Gergens might be able to have an annual family reunion perhaps in Cherryvale at St. Francis Xavier Parish Social Hall. Many of our ancestors are buried in the St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Cherryvale, Kansas. The editors are listed at the bottom of the page. Anyone that wants to volunteer to work on the page is welcome.

Descendants of Peter Goergen (Gergen) (b. 1720s-1730s) and Anna Schnider (Goergen) of Saarland, Germany

Peter Goergen (b. 1720s-1739s) seems to be the earliest of our Gergen ancestors documented in the church and civil records in the town of St. Wendal, Saarland, Germany. St. Wendal is the county seat or administrative center for the area in Germany where our eighteenth-century Gergen ancestors farmed. In Germany the name was also spelt "Goergen." This Peter Goergen was married to Anna Schnider and had at least one child, Johann Goergen (1752-1833), who was born at Oberlostern.

Johann Goergen (1752-1833) had three wives. He married Elizabeth Meisberger (1728-1788) in 1777 at Tholey. They had no children and she is buried at Alsweiler, Saarland, Germany. He then married Elizabeth Ames (Ambers) (1756-1798) on January 8, 1789 at St. Mauritius Catholic Church in Tholey, Germany. The parents of Elizabeth were Peter Ames (1710-1765) and Maria Hoffmann. They lived in Alsweiler. Johann and Elizabeth had four children between 1779 and 1796. Several months after Elizabeth died on August 20, 1798 in Alsweiler, Johann married Angeln Mayer in November 1798 at Tholey. Angeln was born at Selbach. Johann and Angeln had one child. The five children of Johann, three of whom lived to adulthood, were all born at Alsweiler. They were:

Jacob Goergen (1779-1779).
Johann Goergen (1789-1816) married Elizabeth Felesinger.
Elizabeth Goergen (1793-1829).
Peter Goergen (1796-1855) married Eve Creutz in 1818.
Catherine Goergen (1803-1804).
Peter Goergen I (1796-1855) was the fourth child of Johann Goergen (1752-1833). As this Peter was the first of three generations of Peters, the terms “I”,” “II” and “III” will be used to distinguish them. But there is no indication in the records that they themselves used such terms. Peter I (1796-1855) married twice. His first wife was Eva Creutz (Kreuz) (1798-1840). Her parents were Anthony Creutz, a farmer, born in 1748 at Alsweiler and Catherine Merfeld (Creutz) (1760-1819). Catherine had eight children and lived her entire life in Alsweiler. The parents of Anthony Creutz were Peter Creutz, a miller and Anna Maria Baumgen. Peter and Anna Maria Creutz had six children. The father of Catherine Merfeld (Creutz) was Konrad Merfeld (1712-1776), a weaver. Konrad was married first to Elizabeth Bach and then Gertrude Schnider (Merfeld) (1721-1793). Konrad and his wives lived in Alsweiler.

Peter I and Eva had eight children between 1821 and 1839, four of whom lived to adult hood. Peter I. married his second wife, Angel Boeffel (1797-1875) on September 8, 1840, not long after the death of his first wife, on February 1, 1840. Peter I. and Angel had one child. The Goergen family were members of St. Mauritius Catholic Church in Alsweiler. Records of the their births, deaths and marriages are still at the church.

To the left below is a photo of the birth record of Peter Gergen II, found at St. Mauritius Catholic Church, Alsweiler, German. Click on the photos to view larger photos. This photo was taken in 1970 on a visit to the church there by Edward Terrar (1920-2004). The ten children of Peter I by both wives, as found at St. Mauritius were (V2.3.2):
birth record of Peter Gergen II Peter Gergen II (1821-1908) married Margaret Schmidt in 1848.
Mathias Gergen (1824-1829).
Maria Gergen (1826-1826).
Barbara Gergen (1827-1907) married Peter Staub and is buried at Perkinsville, New York.
Elizabeth Gergen (b. 1830) married Bierman.
Annie Marie Gergen (1832-1833).
Margaretha Gergen (1833-1841).
Nicholas Gergen (1837-1863) was a member of Company B, New York Infantry, killed in action at Lookout Valley, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Anna Gergen (b. 1839).
Jacob John Gergen (b. 1841) married Barbara Vogt in 1866.

Migration to America

In 1847 the fifty-one year old Peter I migrated to Perkinsville, New York with his second wife, Angel and five of his six children then living. They arrived at the Port of New York on June 19, 1847 aboard the Kate Hunter. Peter I’s oldest child, twenty-seven year old Peter II (1821-1908) migrated the following year in 1848. At Perkinsville Peter I and his family farmed, as they had done at Alsweiler. They continued to speak German in the household. Peter I is buried at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Yard in Perkinsville.

Peter Gergen II (1821-1908) was the first child of Peter I. The twenty-seven year old Peter II married Margaret Schmidt (Smith) (1829-1909) after he arrived in New York. Margaret, who was born in the area of Trier (Treve), Germany had come to Perkinsville with her parents about 1840. Margaret’s parents were Jacob Schmidt (1803-1880) and Elizabeth Rabner (Schmidt) (1799-1851). Jacob was born in the Trier area of Germany and died at Wayland, New York.
Margaret Schmidt Gergen Photo of Margaret Schmidt Gergen (1829-1909) taken about 1895. Click on the photos to view larger photos. Margaret had a cross around her neck. On the front bottom of the picture is the name of the photographer, “F. A. Loomis, Cherryvale, Kansas.” There is more advertising on the back of the picture, “Large portraits in crayon or ink by H.T. Brundidge."
Peter II and Margaret had thirteen children between 1849 and 1873. The first eight were born in Perkinsville, New York. In 1863 after passage of the Homestead Act, Peter II, Margaret and the eight children which they then had migrated to Nebraska, where two and perhaps three more children were born. Then in 1869 Peter II and family migrated to Verdigis River Valley area of Montgomery County, Kansas. This was soon after southeastern Kansas was opened up for homesteading. They were farmers. Peter II and Margaret are buried at the St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Cherryvale, Kansas. The thirteen children of Peter II and Margaret Schmidt Gergen, four of whom died in childhood, were (V2.3.1):
Gergens 1890s Peter William “Will” Gergen III (1849-1920) married Rosetta Craig.
Elizabeth Gergen(1850-1914) married John G. Goracky.
Jacob Gergen (1852-1934) married Leah Enterline.
John W. Gergen (1859-1913) married Esther Elizabeth Royer.
Anna Gergen (1856-1929) married Frank S. Steinberger.
Margaret Gergen (1858-1936) married George Miller.
Mary Gergen (1860-1928) married Jacob Miller.
Laney (Magdalean) Gergen (1862-1873).
Frank G. Gergen (b. 1864) married C. Kate Smith.
Rosa Gergen (1867-1873).
Katherine Gergen (b. 1869)
Joseph “Joe” P. Gergen (1871-1939) married Barbara Burger.
Susie Gergen (1873-1957) married Anthony Blaes.
The picture to above is a family group photo taken about 1900 of Peter II and Margaret Gergen and most of their children. Click on the photos to view larger photos. Seated left to right, Maggie Gergen Miller, Peter Gergen II, Margaret (Schmidt) Gergen, Elizabeth Gergen Gorecke. Standing left to right: Frank Gergen, Joseph Gergen, Anna Gergen Steinberger, Peter William Gergen III, Mary Gergen Miller, John W. Gergen (missing Susie Gergen Blaise and Jacob Gergen).

Descendants of
Peter Gergen II (1821-1908), Margaret (Schmidt) Gergen (1829-1909)

Click on the photos to view larger photos.

Descendants of Peter William "Will" Gergen III

The first child of Peter Gergen II and Margaret Schmidt Gergen was Peter William “Will” Gergen III (1849-1920). He was born at Perkinsville, New York on February 5 and baptized five days later at Sacred Heart Church on February 10, 1849. He married Rosetta Craig on September 30, 1875 at Independence, Kansas. Will farmed and later worked in a grain mill and for the railroad. Will and Rosie are buried at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Cherryvale, Kansas. They had eight children:
Lena, Alma and Maye Gergen= Lillie Mary Gergen (1877-1916) married Leonard Wintermorte in 1892 and is buried at St. Francis Cemetery, Cherryvale.
Alma Francis Gergen (1878-1960) married John Miller in 1897 and is buried at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. John Miller was a cousin to Alma, being the son of Peter Miller and Elizabeth Schmidt. Elizabeth was the sister of Margaret Schmidt Gergen.
Lena Estelle Gergen (1881-1967) married Edward Breese in 1900 and is buried at Fairview Cemetery in Cherryvale, Kansas.
Matilda Rosetta “Etta” Gergen died as a baby and is buried at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Cherryvale.
Mary Anna Gergen died when five months old and is buried at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Cherryvale.
Nellie Elizabeth Gergen (1889-1895)
Margaret Maye Gergen (1893-1979) married Edward Terrar in 1917. They had four children. They are buried in Coffeyville, Kansas.
William Alfred Gergen (1898-1959) married Ida Stevens in 1929. They had no children. He is buried at the Naval Air Station Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida.
Pictured above (gerg-4) are three of Peter Gergen II's children: Lena Gergen Breese (1881-1967), Alma Gergen Miller (1878-1960) and Maye Gergen Terrar (1893-1979)
Ed Breese and Ed Terrar and others= Pictured left to right in 1915 is Edward Breese (1874-1949, husband of Lena Gergen Breese), William Gergen (1898-1959, the sixth child of Peter III and Rosa Gergen), Edward Terrar (1891-1964, married in 1917 May Gergen), Jimmie Breese (b. 1905, the second child of Ed and Lena Breese) and Frank Dear (1891-1969, married Clara Elizabeth Miller in 1917, Clara being the only child of Alma Gergen and John Miller). In 1939 the Breese family was living at 417 South Neosha, Cherryvale, Kansas.

Descendants of Jacob Gergen (1852-1934) and Leah Enterline

Click on the photos to view larger photos.

The third child of Peter Gergen II and Margaret Schmidt Gergen was Jacob Gergen (1852-1934). Jacob was born at Perkinsville (Wayland), New York. In 1883 he married Leah Enterline (1856-1920) at Tecumseh, (Johnson County) Nebraska (but one source says they were married in nearby Sterling, Nebraska). Jacob and Leah were farmers. Several years after they married, they took took a 160-acre homestead in 1885 in Phillips, Kansas. Leah came down with breast cancer in 1919 and died the following year at Colorado Springs. Several years later Jacob joined the Baptist Church and was baptized in a river in 1923. Jacob died in Phillips County, Kansas. Both Leah and Jacob are both buried at Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Jacob Gergen Howard and family The four children of Jacob and Leah were:
1) Charles Jacob Gergen (1884-1956) married Helen Patricia Nellie (Nelle) Shannon (1886-1916) in 1911 at Burlington, Colorado. He had come to Burlington in 1907 in a covered wagon and took a homestead in Kit Carson County, Colorado. Charles Jacob and Nelle Gergen had five children between 1912 and 1922, all born in Burlington, Colorado. Charles Jacob Gergen and wife are buried in Fairfield Cemetery, Burlington, Colorado.
2) Frank Earl Gergen (1888-1972) attended school in Nebraska and married Eva May Wilcox (1893-1988) in 1911 at Burlington, Colorado. They had eight children. The first four were born between 1912 and 1919 at Burlington, Colorado. The last four were born between 1925 and 1932 at Sharon Springs, Kansas. In 1937 the family moved to Boring, Oregon. On their sixtieth wedding anniversary on November 14, 1971 they had an open house at Damascus Granger hall in Boring, Oregon. They both are buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Gresham, Oregon.
3) Alta Faye Gergen (1896-1979) married Bruce Bennett in 1911. See more about her and her descendants below.
4) Lillian Truel Gergen (1898-1984) married William Jennings Bryan Rumbaugh (1896-1984) at Alma, Nebraska in 1917. They had one child, Bryan Wayne Rumbaugh born in 1918 at North Platt, Nebraska. Lillian and William are buried at Lincoln Memorial Park in Portland, Oregon.
Those in the above picture taken about 1908 going clockwise, starting on the left, are: Jacob Gergen in the three-piece suit, bow tie and mustache, son Frank Earl Gergen in his three-piece suit, Charles Jacob Gergen also in a three piece suit, Leah Gergen in a nice dress, Lillian Truel Gergen with a pearl necklace and fashionable hair-do and her older sister Alta Faye Gergen also with a fashionable hair-do and dress. The picture is setout in an artistic, symmetrical pattern with mom and dad on either side, the older boys above and the younger girls below. All the children were born in or near Phillipsburg in Phillips County, Kansas between 1884 and 1898, so the picture may have been taken at a photo studio in Phillipsburg. However, Alta was married at Alma, Nebraska in 1911 and her sister Lillian was married at Alma Nebraska in 1917. So the family may have moved to Alma sometime after 1898 and the picture may have been taken there. (gerg-jpg/jgergen10.jpg)
Alta Faye Gergen Bennett To the left is Alta Faye (Gergen) Bennett, the third child of Jacob and Leah Gergen. At age 15 she married Bruce Bennett in 1911. They had four children between 1914 and 1933. She is buried at Sunnyside Memorial Park in Long Beach, California (gerg-jpg/jgergen8.jpg). Click here for more information on Alta Faye and her family.

Descendants of John W. Gergen (1854-1913) and Esther Royer

The fourth child of Peter Gergen II and Margaret Schmidt Gergen was John W. Gergen (1854-1913). John was born at Perkinsville (Wayland), New York. In 1882 he married Esther Elizabeth Royer (1865-1909). They were farmers and lived near Liberty in Montgomery County Kansas. They had three children:
Ella Elizabeth Gergen (b.1890/1882) married Roy Charles Howard.
John Grover Gergen (1892-1967).
Ola Frank Gergen (b. 1894).
Ella Gergen Howard This is Ella (Gergen) Howard, the first child of John and Esther Gergen. She married Roy Howard (1880-1955) in 1901. He was a farmer. This picture was taken in 1962 when Ella was 82 years old. She was still driving her car and keeping house. (gerg-jpg/gerg-1.jpg). Click here for more information on Ella and her family.
Grover Gergen This is John Grover Gergen (1892-1967), who was the second child of John and Esther Gergen. Grover Gergen married Aileen Macia Gates at Independance, Kansas in 1913. Aileen is pictured standing next to Grover with her hand on his shoulder. She is dressed in a winter overcoat and hat. Grover and Aileen initially lived in Cherryvale, Kansas, where their first child, Alice Gurtrude Gergen was born. Alice is being held by her father in this picture. The picture was taken about 1914. Within a few years of their marriage, Grover and Aileen moved to Lamar, Colorado, where they had seven more children and lived out their lives. Aileen's brother, Dan Gates, was the father of the movie character Festus in the Gun Smoke T.V. series. (gerg-jpg/gerg-15.jpg). Click here for more information on Grover Gergen and his family.

Ola and Kattie Gergen The third child of John and Esther Gergen was Ola "Olie" Gergen. He married twice. His first wife was Katie (“Kittie,” "Kate" or “Kitty”) Holman. In this picture Olie is seated with a cain in his hand. Next to him is Kate Holman Gergen. Standing in the back is left to right, Clay Allen, who was a friend and Eva Holman, who was Kate's sister. Betty Ann Schiler, who is Kate's daughter-in-law, wonders if this is a wedding picture. Kate has on a white dress and is holding a white flower. They are all dressed up, as for a wedding. Olie and Kate had three children. In 1918 they were living in Coffeyville and Olie was working as a lineman on the Missouri Pacific Railroad. (gerg-jpg/gerg-11.jpg). Click here for more information on Olie, Kate (Gergen) Schiler, Herman Holman and their descendants.

After Olie Gergen left Kate, he married his second wife, Ruby Alice Lane, on March 8, 1918. They had seven children. They are listed below:

1) Juanita Catherine Gergen (b. 1920) was the first child of Olie and Ruby Alice Gergen. She was born at Wichita, Kansas.
2) Betty Jane Gergen (b. 1922) was born was the second child of Olie and Ruby Alice Gergen. She was born at Lamar, Colorado.
Earl and June (Gergen) Allen 3) Earl Edmond Gergen (Allen) (b. 1924) was born at Los Angeles, California. He married June Lorraine Peikert in 1942. It is Earl and June that are in the picture to the left. The picture was taken in the summer of 1973 when they visited Edward Terrar (1920-2004), who was their Gergen cousin in Washington, D.C. Earl and his siblings all use the last name Allen, not Gergen. This was because in bootlegging days Ola “Olie” Frank Gergen and Ruby Alice Lane changed it. All of Olie and Ruby’s children but the last two were born when the name was changed. But all the children use Allen. Earl and June in 1973 were living at 125 Halliday St. in Anaheim, California. They had two children. These were Gloria Don (Gergen) Allen (b. 1944), who married Richard Dean Ayres and Ginger Dean (Gergen) Allen (b. 1945), who married Thomas Richard Dawson. In 1973 Earl was working as a truck driver. He did a night run into the desert from Los Angeles and had so many lights on his truck, it was like a Christmas tree. He and June converted to LDS in 1958.
4) Carl Alfred Gergen (b. 1925) was born at Coffeyville, Kansas.
5) Virginia Lee Gergen (b. 1928) was born at Hot Springs, Arkansas
6) John Frank Gergen (b. 1932) was born at Warren, Arkansas.
7) Nancy Joyce Gergen (Allen) (b. 1937) was born at Los Angeles, California.

Anna Gergen (Steingerger)(1856-1929) and her Descendants

Anna Gergen Steinberger (1856-1929) in the photo to the lower left was the fifth child of Peter II and Margaret (Schmidt) Gergen. Click on the photos to view larger photos. She was born at Perkinsville (Wayland), New York and married Frank S. Steinberger (1838-1915) in 1874 at Independence, Kansas. He was a farmer and had oil and gas on his land. Anna and Frank are buried at St. Francis Xavier Church Yard in Cherryvale, Kansas. Between 1875 and 1889 they had five children, all born at the farm near Cherryvale. They were (gerg-6):
Anna Steinberger F. Joseph "Joe” Steinberger (1875-1954) married Margaret Foster in 1924. They had no children. He was a farmer and stockman. He took his father’s home place.
John P. Steinberger
(1877-1953). He never married and lived with Joe on the home place.
George Steinberger (1880-1938) married Hedwig Schicke in 1911. He was an independent oil and gas operator.
Francis Xavier Steinberger
(1883-1952) married Agatha Blaes in 1908.
Paul Stinberger
(b. 1889) married Katherine Marie Schick in 1914. He was an independent oil and gas operator.
The third child of Anna and Frank Steinberger was George Steinberger (1880-1938). He married Hedwig Schicke. They had seven children:
Anna Marie Steinberger (1911-1985). She married Henry Benjamin Allphin in 1940.
Stella M. Steinberger
(1913-2003) never married.
Nora C. Steinberger
(b. 1916) never married.
Teresa “Trixie” Marie Steinberger
(b.1918) married Alfred J. daCosta in 1955.
George C. Steinberger
(1924-1996) married Georgia Treat in 1951.
Josephine “Josie” R. Steinberger
(b. 1924) married Alexander Haas in 1947.
John A. Steinberger
(b. 1928) never married.
The photo below was taken at the funeral Stella Steinberger. She was the third child of George and Hedwig Steinberger. Click on the photos to view larger photos. The funeral was on January 15, 2003 at the Social Hall of St. Andrews Church in Independence, Kansas. Those in the picture are the two surviving sisters of Stella, along with her sister-in-law and their spouses and some of their children and grandchildren. Seated left to right (gerg-5):
Steinbergers Marlyn Hass (b. 1957), the third child of Josie (Steinberger) and Alex Hass.
Veronica daCosta (b. 1957), the oldest child of Trixie and Al da Costa.
Josie Steinberger Hass, the sixth child of George and Hedwig Steinberger.
Paul da Costa (b. 1960), the third child of Trixie (Steinberger) and Al da Costa.
Trixie (Steinberger) daCosta (b. 1918), the fourth child of George and Heddie Steinberger. Standing:
Georgie Steinberger, widow of George Steinberger.
Jim Steinberger (b. 1952), son of George Steinberger (in back).
Michelle Steinberger is the wife of Philip Steinberger.
Rick Steinberger (b. 1953), son of George Steinberger (in back)
Erik Steinberger (child) is the son of Rick Steinberger.
Pat Allphin (b. 1949), the second child of Anna Marie (Stinberger) and Henry Allphin.
Philip Steinberger (b. 1957), son of George Steinberger (in back)
Elyse Steinberger (child) is the daughter of Rick Steinberger.
Bruce Hass (b. 1959), fourth child of Alex and Josie (Steinberger) Hass.
Morris Hass (b.1952), the second child of Josie (Steinberger) and Alex Hass.
Barbara Allphin (b. 1947), the first child of Anna Marie (Stinberger) and Henry Allphin.
Alex Haas (b. 1923), husband of Josephine Steinberger (Hass).
Madeline da Costa (b. 1962) the fourth child of Trisie (Steinberger) and Al DaCosta.

Frank Gergen

Frank G. Gergen (b. 1864) was the ninth child of Peter II and Margaret Schmidt Gergen. Frank was married twice. The first wife had the last name of Campbell. His second wife was C. Kate Smith, who he married in 1888.> Frank had five children. They were:
Frank Gergen place Mary Gergen (Dack).
Ann Theresa Gergen (b. 1889) married A. E. O'Hara in 1905 and is buried at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Cherryvale, Kansas.
Elizabeth Gergen married Joseph Toy.
Agnus Gergen married Burke Hamm and lived in Oregon.
Marie Gergen (Clark) (d. 1968).
Pictured above is the Frank Gergen place. He was a farmer and later moved to Cherryvale. (gerg-jpg/gerg-2.jpg).

3.0 Page Editors

Those who are helping edit this page are:


Toby Terrar
15405 Short Ridge Ct.
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906
(301) 598-5427


Betty Ann Schiler
P.O. Box 515
St. David, Arizona 85630




An Account of the history of some of our Gergens is given in the following:

  • 4.1 Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Terrar-Gergen-Craig-Elias Family History in Coffeyville and Cherryvale, Kansas, in Edgar County, Illinois, in Perkinsville, New York and in Tylorstown, Wales (Silver Spring, Maryland: CWP, 1994, 135pp.), by Toby Terrar.
    Click here for a downloadable copy of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Terrar-Gergen-Craig-Elias Family History. (Our web software is not able to duplicate the pagination, pictures and index of the hardcopy book.)
  • 4.2 God, Country and Self-Interest: A Social History of the World War II Rank and File. (Silver Spring, Maryland: CWP, 2004, 420pp.).
    Click here for a downloadable copy of God, Country and Self-Interest. (Our web software is not able to duplicate the pagination, pictures and index of the hardcopy book.)

  • 5.0 LINKS.

  • CWPublishers .
  • Terrar Family History Web Page
  • Bailey Family History .
  • Kreuz Family History in Alsweiler, Germany. This is a web page maintained by Roger Kreutz who teaches at the University of Memphis. Our Peter Gergen I married a Kreuz. There is no indication that she was one of the Kreuz's on Roger's page. But his page contains information on the history of the area that gives light on our Alsweiler roots. (
  • Goergen Family History Web Page. This shows eight or more generations of our Gergen relatives with a focus on the descendants of Jacob Gergen (1852-1934) and his wife Leah Enterline, who are buried at Colorado Spring, Colorado. It is maintained by Jerry C. Stroud Jr., 263 Ecology Dr., Farmington, Ar. 72801, (501) 267-5089, .

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    Last Updated February 21, 2005